Mon | Nov 29, 2021

COVID-19 threatens a mother’s dream

Published:Sunday | May 17, 2020 | 9:08 AMShanna Monteith/Gleaner Writer
Patrice Bromley tries to assist her six-year-old daughter, Patrina Ashman, with her schoolwork on Wednesday.
Patrice Bromley tries to assist her six-year-old daughter, Patrina Ashman, with her schoolwork on Wednesday.

HAVING HAD to sit out her Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate examinations because of financial difficulties her family faced at the time, Patrice Bromley of White Horses, St Thomas, envisioned providing for her daughter, Patrina Ashman, the ultimate access to education at all levels.

However, Bromley’s dreams for the academic success of her six-year-old are currently being challenged by what may be considered the ‘new normal’, which is e-learning brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With schools closed and the push for e-learning education, which is highly dependent on the Internet, parents have a big role to play in ensuring that their children stay abreast of the curriculum during homeschooling sessions.

“I don’t have Wi-Fi and it’s very difficult to buy the credit to put on the services every two day or so. We live way up here, and most time my data not picking up when I do put it on.

So most times when the teachers send lessons in the group, I don’t get them same time, and when I put on service and get them, it’s really a lot, so sometimes I’m behind,” Bromley said, adding that her daughter is currently in grade one at White Horses Primary School.

Late Access to Lessons

The mother of one explained that by the time she accesses the school group, where assignments and other instructions are sent for her child, the teachers and parents have already covered certain topics.

According to her, “Most time mi nuh understand, because a lot of children in the class, and a lot of parents. It’s a lot of messages and they confuse me. Sometimes I don’t understand and I don’t have anybody to explain, so I have to do what I understand and leave out wah mi nuh understand.”

Bromley shared that in addition to connection woes, her current mental capacity may not be enough to help her daughter and as such, she fears that Patrina will be behind when school reopens.

“I met in an accident about two years ago, and from that I have been having nerves problems. I can’t stay focused for long, and most of the things weh the teacher gives is on the ‘Net, so it’s very difficult. Sometimes when mi a teach her, mi affi a teach her little, and then mi break and go back to her; ah so mi affi do it, so sometimes I’m behind. “

Her father works away and comes up on the weekends, so she gets to spend time with him then, but he doesn’t really understand either because he’s not in the school group. He was referring me to a site I can use, but I don’t have the Wi-Fi,” she explained.

Sharing that her daughter is a great reader and has done well in school over the years, Bromley lamented her current roadblock.

“The lock-up school thing causing her to go way back, and with me and this nerve problem ... it’s hard for me to teach her.

I didn’t get to finish high school because my mother got sick and my father didn’t really have it, and it was three of us. I did all my years at high school and was recommended for some subjects, but I couldn’t pay for them. So now I have Patrina, I told myself that everything mi neva get mi a try to give her, but this COVID situation really setting me back,” Bromley said.